Thirty-one dogs taken from an unheated store-front in Oak Creek were returned to their owner yesterday, after police decided not to seek criminal charges. A 57-year-old Milwaukee woman took back the Jack Russell terriers, after she paid $9,200 for their care and treatment after they had been seized. Police were tipped off about the dogs on January fifth, and they were taken the next day.

Melanie Sobel of the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission said the pets lacked food and water; and they burns on their paws caused by urine in their cages. She said one of the terriers was so hungry, it grew from 23 pounds to 32 over the last nine days.

Oak Creek Police Lieutenant David Ashenhurst said they did not seek charges because did not believe the neglect was enough to convict the owner of a crime. Sobel said she tried to convince the woman to put the dogs up for adoption but she refused, claiming she had an emotional attachment to them.

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